Costa Rica has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to use the Combined DNA Index System. Viewers of late night crime shows know that this is the system that can identify individuals by their DNA.
The Corte Suprema de Justicia last August approved rules for the use of DNA in investigation and in identifying unidentified bodies from disasters or crimes.
The system is supervised by the Poder Judicial’s Departamento de Ciencias Forenses.
Signing the agreement Tuesday in San José was D. Christian Hassell, director of the FBI laboratory, and Jorge Rojas of the Judicial Investigating Organization.
For U.S. expats this means that if they have a serious brush with the law, their past elsewhere might become available based on their DNA
The Costa Rican regulations require a DNA profile from any person convicted of a crime with a penalty of five years or more involving organized crime.
The Poder Judicial said that Costa Rica will be part of more than 70 labs in more than 35 countries that can access DNA information. Any convict who has stolen the identity of another person also can be included in the data base, said the rules.
Investigators are using the DNA system to match biological profiles of criminals who may have been involved in crimes in various parts of the country. These include sex crimes.
Costa Rica also can make an identification of a body by using DNA samples from presumed close relatives.
In the case of missing British journalist Michael Dixon, the Dixon family said that judicial police took samples the last time they were in the country. But his remains have not been located. He vanished in October 2009 in Tamarindo.